Protect your family and yourself with the latest in smoke alarms

The agony of a house fire is only transcended by the loss of a loved one. At least smoke alarms meant that this family didn’t have to suffer the latter.

Until you have been in one, you have no idea how terrifying a house fire can be. In fact, you may have as little as 15 seconds to escape from the time a fire takes hold, so you need to take precautions to protect yourself, your family and your home.

The very first and most obvious thing to do is to make sure your smoke alarms work properly and for that matter, to make sure you have the best smoke alarms fitted and fitted properly.

New and substantially renovated homes are now required to have interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms, in hallways where bedrooms are connected, and on each and every level of the residence. This applies to homes where building applications were lodged after 1 January 2017.

Requirements for existing homes will be phased in over 10 years.

Interconnected smoke alarms will be required from:

  • 1 January 2022 in all homes leased and sold
  • 1 January 2027 in all other homes.

To comply with the new laws, homeowners can install either hardwired 240V smoke alarms or non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms. However, any existing hardwired 240V smoke alarm must be replaced with a hardwired 240V photoelectric smoke alarm. The installation of hardwired 240V smoke alarms must be performed by a licenced electrician.

In existing homes, it is possible to have a combination of smoke alarms, which can be 240V or battery operated and interconnectivity which can be both wired and wireless.

But . . . although current alarms less than 10 years old need only be replaced when they expire, home safety is so important that it shouldn’t really be a matter of “hey, I’m okay I have smoke alarms fitted”.  We would suggest that you should make sure the existing alarms are effective, are placed in the right positions and are just as good as those required by law for brand-new buildings.

The right smoke alarm in the right place, linked to all other smoke alarms in the home is a fast, easy and affordable solution to peace of mind at all times.

Think about this. New homes are designed with fire safety as a particular requirement while many existing homes still have materials in them that are far more flammable than in today’s new builds. Where is the sense in risking your life and that of your loved ones by failing to take basic precautions?

When a fire starts, smoke and fumes are the first danger to guard against, but also the first indicator you have a major problem. When you sleep, your sense of smell also sleeps but photoelectric smoke alarms will alert you early, so you can escape.

Interconnected alarms alert you no matter where you are or where the fire starts. That’s an amazingly simple improvement in today’s alarm systems that are sure to save many more lives than previously possible.

We can fit alarms of the right type in the right places, economically and quickly, working with whatever situation your house presents. Alarms can be mains powered or have 10 year batteries and wireless connection.

Our task is to provide you with a silent guardian which is guaranteed to continually consider your safety. Take advantage of our expertise and keep yourself and your family safe at all times, especially when sleeping. Phone us now on 07 5554 2200 or email now for complete details.

Save yourself a heap of cash on electricity right now – at absolutely no cost

You are probably using far more power than necessary and the answer is totally in your own hands. In addition to shopping around for better electricity deals, reducing the amount of electricity you use can have a big impact on your electricity bill. This chart shows where the average family home uses most electricity. All of these tips you can put in place immediately, absolutely without cost!

Graph showing electricity usage in the average home

Water heating and laundry

  • Ensure your electric hot water is on a controlled load (off-peak) tariff
  • Use cold water for laundry
  • Only wash full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine
  • Avoid using the dryer where possible.

Heating & air-conditioning

  • Use a fan when you can instead of the air-conditioner
  • Adjusting your air conditioner up by one or two degrees saves you money
  • Close all the doors, windows, curtains and blinds in the room while using the air-conditioner or heater.  

Kitchen

  • Limit the time the fridge door is open (especially if you have children).

Lighting

  • Turn off lights when nobody is in the room

TV & entertainment

  • Make sure to switch off the TV and other entertainment appliances at the wall when nobody is using them.  

‘Standby’ is still using power

  • Turn everything off at the wall.  Appliances use power even when not in use
  • Phone chargers, tablet chargers and gaming consoles also use ‘standby’ power if not turned off at the wall.

NB: We can’t stress enough that everything above is an easy list of habits to adopt in order to free up some of your hard-earned cash every week. All of this information (and more) is freely available on a special Queensland Government website. We’ll bring you more from the various information sources from week to week.

Want to go even further and invest money to save yourself even more? Contact us and we’ll discuss the best, most economical way for you to go.

Get aggressive with cutting your energy bill

Tired of paying too much for your electricity? Maybe it’s time to get aggressive. Time to start fighting your power bill and give yourself a welcome bonus in reduced costs every time it comes around.

The good news is you’re not alone. Both the Australian and Queensland governments have plenty of information, published on the web, that can help you save money.

In May of last year, the Queensland Productivity Commission published their electricity pricing enquiry results. It contained many interesting facts, figures and conclusions. If you are prepared to wade through 413 pages of findings and recommendations, click on this link, start reading and you are bound to find a multitude of ideas to your benefit.

But an even easier way is to check on your supplier and one of the fastest methods is to click on this link to Compare the Market and get ready to start the good fight.

They highlight many interesting facts on the energy industry in Queensland. More importantly, they also supply you with the welcome opportunity to compare energy providers.

With compare the Market you pay nothing and they have made the process easy to understand, saving you time while you look for a better deal. You can easily compare plans from different energy companies in one place.

And helpfully, they point out that switching providers is easy. They show you how to switch online in four easy steps. You don’t need to be at home for the change to take place and your supply will remain reliable is only your billing will change.

In addition to shopping around for better electricity deals, reducing the amount of electricity you use can have a big impact on your electricity bill. More on this in our next blog. Enjoy your electricity!

Hot Topic- The QLD Smoke Alarm laws

In August 2016, the Queensland Government passed new state smoke alarm legislation laws in response to the devastating 2011 Slacks Creek house fire, which cut short 11 lives.

The new legislation takes effect as of 1 January 2017 and ‘all smoke alarms in all dwellings must be photoelectric (as per Australian standard 3786), not contain an ionisation sensor, be less than 10 years old, operate when tested and be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the same dwelling so all activate together’ (excerpt from the Legislation).

What do you need to do to ensure your home is safe and meets legal requirements?

Photoelectric is a type of smoke alarm and is the method by which the device uses to detect smoke. Before panicking that you don’t have one, check your current smoke alarms- if you have a photoelectric type it will have either “photoelectric”, “optical”, “photo optical” or the letter “P” on the unit. If it doesn’t, then you should replace your alarm. As for interconnected, basically when one smoke alarm detects smoke, all smoke alarms will be sound off alerting everyone in the household.

Examples of the P symbol that can be found on photoelectric smoke alarms.

Examples of the P symbol that can be found on photoelectric smoke alarms.The other major change in the legislation is the where and how many need to be installed- smoke alarms must be installed in every bedroom and in all hallways connecting between bedrooms and other parts of each storey.

When do you need to get all this done by?

This depends on your circumstances. If you need to replace smoke alarms, you must replace them with the photoelectric type from 1 January 2017 and must have your entire dwelling comply with the legislation from 1 January 2027. If you are building or making substantial renovations, all building works approved after 1 January 2017 must comply. If you’re selling, leasing or renewing lease all existing obligations will continue after January 1 2017 and the property must be completely compliant as of 1 January 2022. If you sell your property after January 1 2017, you must lodge a Form 24 with the Queensland Land Registry Office stating the new legislative requirements have been met.

You can look up further information on the Queensland Government website and you can also download info sheets from Queensland Fire and Emergency Service. Alternatively, you can give us a call on (07) 5554 2200 to discuss how we can help you achieve compliance and to make a booking with us today!